The woman who inspired Jennifer Lopez's character in 'Hustlers' is suing the film's makers for $40m (£30m), reports BBC. In the lawsuit, Samantha Barbash accuses film companies including STX Films and Lopez's Nuyorican Productions of using her likeness and defaming her.
In response, STX said it would 'defend our right to tell factually based stories based on the public record'. 'Hustlers' is the fictionalized story of Barbash and other women who drugged and swindled rich men at strip clubs.
Barbash was the alleged mastermind of the ring and was sentenced to five years' probation for conspiracy, assault and grand larceny after it came to light. The movie was based on a 2015 New York Magazine article about the gang, but Barbash has said she declined to sell her rights to the movie's producers, saying they offered her 'peanuts'.
Lopez was nominated for a Golden Globe for playing the role of Ramona in Hustlers, which has made $157m (£120m) at global box offices since its release in September. The actress has described her character as 'unapologetically savage'. Last April, Barbash told the New York Post that Lopez was misrepresenting her and she was never a stripper.
According to the New York Post, the court papers said: 'Anyone who views the film will believe Plaintiff to be an individual of little to no moral or ethical values, devoid of any loyalty to her colleagues, under the influence of hard drugs, and with misandrist tendencies.'
Barbash's lawyer Bruno V Gioffre Jr told Rolling Stone: 'My client is offended that the defendants used her likeness to make over $150m, defamed her character and tried to trick her into selling her rights to the production company for a mere $6,000.'
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